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Friday, October 12, 2018

Mr. Republican—Is This Really Who You Are?

I like to honor the Eisenhower years.  Though I was very young, a neighbor of ours at the time was an Eisenhower loyalist.  I don’t know much about Eisenhower, but primarily that he was one who helped achieve defeat of the Nazi’s and was instrumental in development of the interstate highway system.  He also backed up Civil Rights actions when necessary with government troops.  So then, this memory of Mr. Republican is strongly positive, and I cherish it.  But now I suppose Mr. Republican is Donald Trump—a deceptive man whose primary aim is to cloak dishonesty and greed in a wrapper of plain speaking—a made-to-order threat for American culture since a key component of that culture is the strong attractiveness of the archetypal individual who speaks out without fear or favor—who stands on bedrock fact caring nothing for puffs and spin.

I think the Republican party began to decay when it placed power ambitions above the bedrock of American values most essentially epitomized in the Bill of Rights and the concept of institutional/individual limitations.  The single most dangerous threat that power poses is the human vulnerability to the resolute drive to achieve absolute invulnerability.  I must repeat an old, old personal story to show you what I mean.  The story is true, but an imaginary character I will then introduce I will leave to your thoughtful discernment and judgment as to the nature of its reality.

In the early 60’s my Dad and I settled down after supper to watch the evening news on TV.  The top story showed images of police dogs and water hoses directed at Alabama blacks.  I said something about “niggers.”  Dad looked at me for a moment in silence, then he slowly almost painfully said:  “Son, I never want to hear you say that again.”  Of course, now on looking back, the one thing that epitomizes the courage, integrity, and love of my father is this scene forever burned into memory.

Now I would like to re-run that scene but with a Republican-Southern Strategy father—a father who feared losing me so much that he would shamelessly pander to my worst prejudices.  So back to the scene on that un-air-conditioned night in a small southern town….. I said something about “niggers.”  Dad looked at me for a moment and said:  "Son, never say that in front of mama.” and he gave me a wink.

So, my Republican-Father became the party of many, many winks over the years whether regarding the sacredness of Constitutional government, equal opportunity for all, effective regulation of business and finance, respect for facts and objectivity, committing demagogic certainty in the face of limited human knowledge, and I must say at last, even perverting the Golden Rule itself…quietly chortling within that he who makes the rules gets the gold.  It seems to me that Trump is the start of the final decay of the Republican party.  The next step must lead to reform and the frank acknowledgement of its horrific transgression in winking at racial prejudice rather than working to transcend it--which would have been the highest compliment the Republican Party could have bestowed upon us.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

To Malik and Friends

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla -- Police are investigating a shooting that occurred on Sunday. Officers responded to 13th Avenue South near M.L.K. Jr. Street South in St. Petersburg at around 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

Police say a 19-year-old was found in an alley shot. The man was transported to the hospital and died at the hospital.

Investigators say it is too early to know if the shooting was random, but they do believe it was an isolated incident.

The victim has been identified as Malik Oliver.


My Godson DeAngelo and I were having sandwiches at Subways late Sunday afternoon.  He became quiet and sad; his eyes began to water.  He told me why.  Malik had been shot and killed that afternoon. It was a tipping point for an idea perhaps old but new to me.

Why not a memorial for victims of gun violence in our nation's capitol similar to the Vietnam Memorial?  Of course it would require constant updating since guns in America remain a constant pollutant of the mind.  

Vietnam Memorial

How bad is US gun violence? ....

More Americans have died from guns since 1968 than in all the wars in US history.
Gun violence in the US isn’t just bad, it’s uniquely bad in terms of the number of lives that are affected by it and how rare such violence is in a wealthy country…

Other wealthy countries don’t have as many guns as the US. They don’t have as many gun deaths as the US. The cumulative number Comparisons can help us to understand scale. Since 1968, when these figures were first collected, there have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths on US territory. Since the founding of the United States, there have been 1,396,733 war deaths. That figure includes American lives lost in the revolutionary war, the Mexican war, the civil war (Union and Confederate, estimate), the Spanish-American war, the first world war, the second world war, the Korean war, the Vietnam war, the Gulf war, the Afghanistan war, the Iraq war, as well as other conflicts, including in Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Somalia and Haiti.



A blog I penned that defines despot justice as usurpation of a basic state function.  I've needed to refer to it much too often.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Senate Sharing and Support Session Highly Recommended

Alcohol and Other Drugs (From United Methodist Social Principles: The Social Community)
We affirm our long-standing support of abstinence from alcohol as a faithful witness to God’s liberating and redeeming love for persons. We support abstinence from the use of any illegal drugs. Since the use of illegal drugs, as well as illegal and problematic use of alcohol, is a major factor in crime, disease, death, and family dysfunction, we support educational programs as well as other prevention strategies encouraging abstinence from illegal drug use and, with regard to those who choose to consume alcoholic beverages, judicious use with deliberate and intentional restraint, with Scripture as a guide.

Let me briefly state my view of male sexuality.  It is my belief that males in and approaching puberty and sometimes beyond seek affirmation of their normalcy in sexual development through sexual displays among males of same age—what I have called little angels playing Tarzan in the woods.  Lucky youth are not introduced to the idea that sex is dirty or forbidden.  Neither do they suspect that the occasional little angel play portends any type of sexual identity ambiguity—anymore than that the individual’s reflection in his bathroom mirror sometimes leads to arousal.

Now the phrase little angels in the woods suggests it is not only normal but in a sense all in God’s plan for healthy male development—and perhaps even necessary for advancement in the development of a long-term commitment to a cherished female.  Another important aspect for little angels in the forest is that it is private and any communication of the event is highly restricted and controlled by the participants to trusted friends of goodwill.

The alleged behavior we heard described in Senate hearings last week suggests to me a very unhealthy (sick) mindset.  First, it is my belief an occasion provided for several males to display sexual prowess before their male peers is what the whole thing is really about—not lust for females.  The female--like the alcohol--lends a patina of protectionist rationale--they would never have displayed their sexual behaviors to other males unless it was ironclad justifiable in their own mind that their free choice was clouded by alcohol and lust. The female like the alcohol are simply props to cloud the real fundamental desire to display sexual behavior before another male(s).

It is rumored that Senators are human.....maybe all too human.  For all future Senate Hearings on this matter, I suggest the distinguished and highly respectable representatives of the people should first one by one go around the room and fully describe the situation and occasion of their first youthful masturbation in dramatic and graphic terms.  Following this, they are to describe the 3 craziest things they did with their genitals during their teenage years and with special mention when a member of the same sex was present.  As the national and international audience for this session might be huge, it is suggested that advertisements for alcoholic beverages could not only serve to reduce the national debt, but would also be highly instructional  to children viewers learning what it means to be a True American.

Recommended References:

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Monday, September 24, 2018

In Us We Trust...Red Meat for Our Cynical Selves

(Let's see who is king of our top level warned, it gets tiresome)

OK guys let's admit it...It sucks when we pretend that we ourselves, rather than God, sits on the throne.

In  a democracy, laws are duly established for human conflict resolution except for the very top level where we are "out there in the blue" unless we realize that self-righteousness can never substitute for the righteousness and grace of a loving God--way more powerful and effective than any personal fanciful delusions of grandeur, Democracy is the only form of government that understands we abdicate our better selves when we misconstrue a blindness to profound spiritual failure as the pinnacle of towering success.  The  ultimate paradox is that man can only successfully rule while knelling in prayer before an omnipotent God.




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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Abject Enemies of Childlike Wonder

False Dilemma

A false dilemma is a type of informal fallacy in which something is falsely claimed to be an "either/or" situation, when in fact there is at least one additional option.[1]

A false dilemma can arise intentionally, when a fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice or outcome. The opposite of this fallacy is false compromise.

The false dilemma fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception. For example, "Stacey spoke out against capitalism, therefore she must be a communist" (she may be neither capitalist nor communist). "Roger opposed an atheist argument against Christianity, so he must be a Christian" (When it's assumed the opposition by itself means he's a Christian). Roger might be an atheist who disagrees with the logic of some particular argument against Christianity.

Argument to Moderation

Argument to moderation (Latin: argumentum ad temperantiam)—also known as false equivalence, false compromise, [argument from] middle ground, equidistance fallacy, and the golden mean fallacy[1]—is an informal fallacy which asserts that the truth must be found as a compromise between two opposite positions.[2][3] An example of a fallacious use of the argument to moderation would be to regard two opposed arguments—one person saying that slavery is always wrong, while another believes it to be legitimate—and conclude that the truth must therefore lie somewhere in between.[4] One could imagine a society that accepts a midway position between slavery and non-slavery as truth using the argument to moderation, and it's only the cultural values of freedom and decency and the like, that would object. If these values did not exist then the culture might find the middle ground true.


A rebirth of wonder entails freedom from the vice grip of peer pressure that would rob us of our God-given duty to seek truth within the company of our Senior Partner and Omniscient
Creator/Redeemer .  

It is remarkable that John McCain selected the following hymn in bidding us farewell.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Political Potty

Let me tell you why I like John Kasich and why he is my kind of leader—because he understands that affirming Christian/democratic values is about proactive positive endurance and NOT about glitzy miracle cures (--democracy’s never-ending background noise of Political Potty).  How is John to succeed in running for national office when other candidates tickle our ears with escapist fantasies in full back-slapping, glad-handing mode.  (If John were a clinical researcher, he would be cautiously positive about the direction of cancer research without assuring us that by hiring him overnight all cancers on earth would morph into the very epitome of unexcelled benign cellular health.)

We must humbly submit to the fact that democracy is a wonderful recipe for the joyful and gracious (and often forgiving) journey on the bumpy road to human improvement, but likewise it is colored by the somber recognition that the ultimate solution to some national and human ills may require many years of hard-fought gains in multifarious fields not even currently known.  (For example, electronic computers have made the writing of this very blog possible—yet a device inconceivable to me when a high school student.)  “Let freedom ring” is the very air that creativity requires but is fully exploitable only by discipline and hard work.  And since in societal learning and improvement the sidekick to Success is its bosom-buddy Failure, we must discern to what extent the sacrificial individual or societal units are to pay with pain or to be relieved with practical gratitude.

So then, I would ask my Christian friends to remember that Jesus himself said that only the Heavenly Father—our loving Senior Creative Partner--knows when the fullness of time will occur.  Let us rejoice that He has given each of us a unique role to play in the struggle to reaching the Promise Land.

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